Bird with Pickle

Who’s Got my Pickle?

I thought I’d wrap up the night with another Food Fun Fact.

One thing I’ve noticed about “healthy” food is that… sometimes… it’s just plain awful. It tastes so BLAND. Would you like some seasoning with your cardboard?

Every time I go out for groceries it feels like I’m on a scavenger hunt. Of course, this applies even more so right now—with COVID-19—because it’s hard to find many foods PERIOD.

Several years back I had the pleasure of tasting Boar’s Head Horseradish Bread & Butter Pickles, and I’ve never forgotten those tasty chips. They’ve been pretty hard to find, but I scored a jar recently on one of my excursions.

According to numerous sources, pickles have been considered a health food for centuries. Julius Caesar is said to have fed them to his troops to boost strength, and Cleopatra favored them as a beauty aid. Go figure!

Personally, jazzing up my “healthy” food with spices, citrus, and condiments (like horseradish or these awesome bold pickles) helps keep me on track because it makes those otherwise boring meals fun and exciting.

The Good news here is that 3 pickle chips have just 40 calories and a low glycemic load. The not so good news, for those watching their salt, is the 200 mg of sodium.

Anyway… another fun thing about pickles is that I found a use for this old (upcycled) photograph from the beach. I did NOT feed the bird… I simply caught him in the act after he raided a nearby beach blanket picnic.

That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading!

Thoughts, Thoughts . . .

And more thoughts!

This morning I woke up tired of thinking. That doesn’t happen very often. In the short time I’ve been awake, I felt droopy, slightly discouraged, and have been questioning some of my own ideas. And then I stumbled on this image and thought that maybe I just need to change the way I’m thinking.

I need to think about things differently.

First of all, besides my WordPress class (which ends Saturday), I’m taking a philosophy class; Intro to Comparative Religion. All I can say is: “That class is exhausting!”

Anyway, the good news here is that last week I was able to hit my mark of 5,500 steps per day. It was actually a breeze once the rain stopped. If the weather stays nice I’ll be able to hit that many steps in just one afternoon walk, so I’m ready to increase my goal.

The challenge here is that the more steps I take, the more I allow myself to cheat on the food end. Like… it’s alright to eat that brownie, you just took 2000 steps! It reminded me of all of my ploys to drink in moderation, like… only wine, or only after 5 p.m., and so on.

I also uninstalled the app that was reminding me to walk around, and to drink water. It was constantly beeping and driving me nuts. Between water sips and restroom trips, there was hardly time for anything else! It got to the point where I’d simply hit snooze, and what’s the point of that?

What I’m realizing is that monitoring a “lifestyle change” is risky. If these changes are meant for the long haul, why do I keep checking in on them… and what do I keep looking for? Instant gratification… that’s what I’m secretly seeking. Every time I get on that scale I hope to see some kind of magic happen. That kind of thinking has to stop. Rome was not built in a day!

So… being the first day of the new month and all, I’ve decided that my goal for April is to Stay off the Scale. I’m kicking up my “steps goal” to 6,500 per day, for the entire month, and I’m putting it on cruise control. No more thinking about it (or checking in on it) until the month comes to a close. I’m going to put more focus on my daily gratitude list instead.

Overall, my diet has improved and I actually lost 5 pounds in the month of March. I’m certainly grateful for that!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for hanging in there with me… and have a beautiful day!

Mediocrity is easy, the good things take time, the great need commitment. —Bob Seger

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Banana split so ice screamed!


With all of my talk about eating, I thought some “food humor” was in order—accompanied by a free Pexels image.

I’ve been wanting to share some of the information I’m discovering out there—tips and tricks or what have you—but I’ve held off for fear that too many new topics will muddle my already oddly diverse and eclectic blog. Then this morning, with a clear head, I sat up and thought… “eh, who cares!?”

That being said, I am sharing my very first…

FOOD FUN FACT!

The glycemic index gives us a way to tell “good carbs” from “bad carbs.” In my case, carrying weight around the middle was an indication that I was eating too many of those bad carbs. The scale is 0-100 and here is the key:

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

The smaller the number the better. Those high numbers are what makes your blood sugar spike, wreaking havoc on your body if you do it consistently. These numbers are cool to check out.

I was sad that bananas are often labeled bad because they’re higher in sugar than other fruits, and bananas are one of my favorites. What I found out though, is that they’re not so bad on the glycemic index.

What’s even better is that the glycemic index of foods can change. Unripe bananas are lower on the index… coming in at 41. The riper they get, the higher their glycemic index will be. So now I won’t wait for the bananas to turn all ripe and yellow, I will try to eat them green. I prefer them in my smoothies anyway, and it’s great when they’re not all soft and mushy.

Pasta is my other favorite food! Honestly, I could eat it every day. The longer pasta cooks, the higher the index will be, so serving your noodles Al dente is the healthier way to go. Who knew?!

Lastly, using lemon juice (or vinegar) during food preparation will lower the food’s glycemic index. So squeeze some lemon on that penne!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my Food Fun Fact! I’m still not sure it will be a regular thing. Mainly I wanted to record the information that I’m discovering, and sharing them here seemed like a great way to do it.

Anyway, thanks for reading… Peace & Love!

Cartoon

Road Rage

I’m at the end of Day 3 and I’ve had an enlightening afternoon. I thought I’d write down a few tidbits before bed.


I’ve been hyper focused on food—and the fact that I want to eat healthy—but all that focus really does is make me want to eat. Next week part of my plan will be to find new activities, things to keep my mind occupied and get me outside away from the computer.

I thought I’d try out a healthy recipe (more food), so I ventured out to Sprouts. What I learned there is that eating healthy costs (at least) twice as much as it does to eat junk. And by the time I got done I was too hungry to cook—I needed food fast. I think it’s a blood sugar thing.

It’s still all mental work right now. I ate really good most of the day, and then I cheated a little. Note to self: Hide the peanut butter cookies! (She’ll never listen). Anyway, tomorrow is a new day.

I thought I’d create a little visual humor tonight. Off in the distance I see the me I want to be… jogging to Chariots of Fire in slow motion. But my dream is rudely interrupted as I (accidentally) knock down the clerk at Sprouts… while I’m dashing to the peanut butter cookie aisle. Ha! 😉

That’s all for now. Peace & Love…
Tomorrow is a brand new day, a fresh start!

Body Image

Body Image

It’s Day TWO and my motivation level is starting to skyrocket. I’m learning exciting things about my body type. Apparently I’m an apple? It’s really interesting to discover that “where” we store excess fat tells us something about what’s going on inside of that amazing body we live in.

Speaking of our amazing bodies, I wanted to backtrack and talk about something that I wrote in faded blues

“I’m not dissing myself here. All I’m saying is that my ideas about me, and the me that I see in front of me… well, they aren’t a perfect match. So, this begs the question… which one is right?

As soon as I published that post my head started spinning. It became clear to me that I was comparing what I feel like inside to what I see in the mirror (judging the book by its cover) and I was doing so based upon what I’ve been taught for decades. Maybe my reflection doesn’t measure up because my ideas on what beauty “looks like” have been shredded, warped, and twisted… by the media, by advertising, and by society.

That being said, this lifestyle change is about health, it is NOT about body shaming. I know that I don’t eat right, I know that I’m not active enough, I know that I feel sluggish most of the time, and I know that there is something going on inside of my body… something that’s telling me to PAY ATTENTION.

So… that’s what I’m doing. I’m paying attention.

Moving on now, the subtle changes that I’m aiming for in week one are my snacks. This house is full of high-calorie, no-nutritional-value snacks. And since I don’t eat regular meals most of the time, snacks are a major player around here.

WEEK ONE PLAN: I’m exchanging empty calories— cakes, cookies, potato chips, and soda (to name a few) —for fresh fruits (strawberries!), vegetables, avocados, nuts, sunflower seeds, and dark chocolate (cacoa) as needed. I’m going to take a gamble, and create some healthy smoothies that contain powdered cacoa (in lieu of those hot fudge sundaes I love so much). I’ll be sure to share the recipes whenever I hit the jackpot.

That is it! That is week one in a nutshell… no pun intended. 😉

Thank you for reading; I hope you found something of value here!

It’s time to go shopping…
—Janet


About the Featured Image: I decided to do a little art for Day Two, a mysterious black and white self-portrait. It’s as close as I’m going to get with a before picture, and I’m actually happy with the story it tells. My son took the photo for me and we both noticed that I seem lopsided. It’s possible that’s from sitting weird on the couch when I use my laptop.

New Lifestyle, New Me

THE LAUNCH

It’s Day One of my Lifestyle Makeover. The starting line was originally set for a week from today—my sober anniversary—but the first of the month makes more sense. It also gives me one week to tip-toe into the whole idea. Just to get this out of the way, and since I’m going to be totally honest and transparent here… I don’t have the Get-Up-and Go-For-It mentality that I wish I had right now. I’m not feeling inspired, OR motivated.

That’s the thing though. If I wait until it feels right, this lifestyle change might never take-off.

I’ve chosen an old image for this. I love the idea of running feet to represent this new journey that I’m on. They symbolize change, growth, and forward momentum. I’m tracking my progress for myself, but also for anyone who’s been considering taking some steps to change their health, eating habits, or lifestyle.

I thought I’d use this first seven days to survey (and talk about) my thoughts, to sketch out a little road map, and to share some of the ideas I have about this transformation. I have no doubt that my daily chronicles will contain humorous anecdotes. I was in the middle of writing the introduction when my mother walked in… marble pound cake in hand… and I caved. No one said it would be easy! 😉

I’m not entering into some dull, rigid, or torturous program here… No siree! This renovation is going to be fun and adventurous. I’m going to try foods that I’ve never tried, do things that I’ve never done, and experience life in ways that I’ve never before considered—from a totally new perspective. That’s the plan anyway.

The goal here is subtle change. I was excited to stumble on an article about a book by Robert Maurer, Ph.D., “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.” I won’t have my hands on it until tomorrow, but the title speaks volumes and seems pretty self-explanatory. Little micro-alterations, that take place gradually, work (and stick) far better than those nearly impossible and enormous changes we try to make.

This last part is where things get uncomfortable. I WILL keep tabs on my body’s metamorphosis. The starting point, obviously, is the hardest to reveal. So… to make things easier (and less conspicuous) I’m going to keep those stats tucked away on my home page. I won’t be shouting them from the rooftops, or sharing them on my posts. If anyone is truly interested in those thoughts and numbers, they can be found there. I think that’s fair.

That’s all I have to share for Day One. It’s all mental work right now. I’m excited though! Thinking and writing has moved my motivation level up one notch from where it was this morning. That’s better than no notch at all! I’m curious to see how this plays out. Maybe nothing will change, maybe everything will change, but the bottom line remains constant…

I’ll never know unless I try.

—Janet
Wish me luck!

Strawberry

Sweet & Sour

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

François de la Rochefoucauld

It’s National Strawberry Day here in the States! I accidentally stumbled on this fact last night, so I searched the garden high and low this morning for a celebratory fruit. And here we have it… one beautiful RED strawberry, ripening on the vine.

I probably don’t eat strawberries as often as I should—or could. But since I’m gearing up for my “Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy New Me” launch in March, it’s the perfect time to pay tribute to these sweet (and sometimes sour) babies.

Strawberries are a delicious, healthy replacement for the processed sugar that I love so much, so I’ll be seeing more of them soon! Besides being a great source of fiber and vitamin C, strawberries offer many additional benefits. Here are a few that I found.

Health & Wellness Benefits

  • Boost immune system
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Protect against cancer
  • Promote healthy eyesight
  • Promote skin vitality
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Fight bad cholesterol
  • Treat symptoms of arthritis
  • Help regulate mood
  • Reduce risk of stroke
  • Make for a delicious smoothie!

So that’s that. Day #3 of Everything Red: Strawberries

Thank you for reading, I hope you found some enjoyment here!

—Janet

Wheatgrass

In the Jungle

If I were a flying insect…

…this might be my view as I make my way through the wheat grass.

Something is Stirring

I thought I would use this particular Garden Art piece to do a little journaling and (publicly) admit something. I’ve been wanting to share this for awhile now, but I didn’t want it to be another one of “those things” that I bring up and start… and then never finish.

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